General Motors is likely to take Holden Colorado utes upmarket following the corporate split with Japanese firm Isuzu.
The two companies announced earlier this month that they would not be jointly developing their next-generation utes, sold as the Holden Colorado and Isuzu D-Max. In a statement, General Motors said: “Both GM and Isuzu agree that due to unique requirements for each company, joint development of the next-generation mid-size pick-up truck for [global] markets is no longer the optimal model for this project.”
A GM executive told Reuters that it did not make sense for the company to try and copy the business strategy of Japanese rivals in Southeast Asia. Instead, the American carmaker would target the next-generation Colorado and Trailblazer at the higher end of the Southeast Asian ute and SUV markets.
An Isuzu spokesman told the news agency that the reason for the split was that “the direction each company wanted to take [for its global utes] was changing”. He said Isuzu would continue to pitch its D-Max ute as a workhorse vehicle for key markets, including Australia, Asia and the Middle East.
Last week’s announcement formally ends the relationship between GM and Isuzu in the ute market that dates back to the 1970s. For much of its life, a version of Isuzu’s ute has been sold in Australasia by Holden.
This latest news follows on from an agreement signed two weeks ago between Isuzu and Mazda, where the two Japanese car companies will work together on their next-generation utes, likely to end Mazda’s long-running partnership with Ford in the ute market. The current BT-50, as well as the B-Series before it, is based on the contemporary Ford Ranger ute.